Buying a boat is no easy task. There are many things to consider and it is important to make sure you take the time to work through each consideration. Otherwise you may end up spending an awful lot of money on a boat you don’t like or can’t actually use.
Below you will find 5 of these considerations, which will hopefully help you to decide on what is going to be the best boat choice for you.
1. Deciding on the size of the boat
Surprisingly a lot of people don’t really spend much time thinking about this before they go and buy a boat. However, not thinking about what size you are going to need before shopping around is a real issue. You need to think about who will be using the boat and why. For instance, will it just be for you and your partner to use on weekends, in which case you are not going to need a huge boat. Or do you require the boat for your entire family and for entertaining guests, in which case you are going to need more space.
When considering how large a boat you require, it is worth deciding on what your budget is going to be. Obviously, the larger the boat, the more it is likely to cost so having this figure in mind will allow you to plan more efficiently, what size of boat you are going to be able to get.
2. Where will you be sailing and storing the boat?
These are both really important considerations and can greatly alter the kind of boat you get. There are a huge number of boat types to choose from and you don’t want to buy the wrong type. For instance, the boat you would require to just calmly sail on an inland lake would differ greatly from one needed to sail in the open sea. Ideally, you need to have in mind the top reasons you want your boat (such as for fishing) and then make your buying decision in view of these reasons.
You will also need to decide where you will be storing your boat, for instance can you afford to store it at the local marina or will it need to be stored at your home. In either case you will have additional costs to consider, so you will need to really work out what type and size of boat most suits your situation and requirements.
3. Can you handle the boat?
It is absolutely critical, when you are buying a boat; you only buy one you can handle. Whilst it is not the case that every person who owns a boat operates it as well, it is a lot safer to know what you’re doing, even if someone else is doing the steering! If it is your first boat purchase, it is much better to start off small and then work your way up as you become a more experienced boatperson.
There are many cases where people have bought too large a boat to handle and ended up either not using it (which is a huge waste of money), or having to sell it. So even if you have enough money to buy a large boat, it is just not worth chancing the fact you won’t be able to handle it. If you are desperate for a larger boat, why not take some lessons first before buying? This way you can make sure you’ll be able to handle a larger boat safely.
4. How important is being comfortable?
All of the above three points will have an effect of the comfort factor of the boat; however, you also need to take into account actual creature comforts. For instance many boats will not have a toilet or a place to sleep. You need to have a serious think about how much time you want to spend on your boat and who will be on it with you, as these factors will both impact on how much you need these creature comforts.
5. Your budget
Cost is obviously going to be one of the largest factors to consider when choosing a boat. With this in mind, it is best to work out exactly what you are looking for in a boat, make a list and then make a decision on what your budget is going to be. Never visit a showroom without having this figure in mind. Salespeople are very good at pushing our buttons and once they know you’re actually able to buy a boat, they won’t leave you alone until you’ve signed on the dotted line. This could mean you end up paying well above what you can afford.
Keep in mind there are a lot of other costs associated with owning a boat, such as transport, maintenance, storage, insurance, boat storage racks, and obviously the costs actually involved in running the boat. If you are not bothered about buying second-hand, this is also a good choice and will save you a lot of money. However, you do need to keep in mind you may end up paying more on maintenance for an older boat, so always ensure you have a full history of the boat and knowledge of any faults before making your purchase.
James writes for the Wickens Company. When not blogging, he can often be found changing his mind about which color to paint his boat.